Reflexology is a type of health therapy based on the idea that there are points on your feet, legs, hands, ears, and face that correspond with different points of the body. Reflexology is different from massage therapy, because it targets specific points on your hands and feet with precision for a specific effect. Anyone can receive reflexology treatment. It is unobtrusive and easy to do: all you have to do is take off your shoes and sit in a chair while a trained reflexologist works on your feet.
The Benefits of Foot Reflexology
Reflexology therapy can increase energy levels, boost circulation, stimulate nerve function, relieve pain, and prevent migraines. In essence, it works to reduce stress and tension in your body. Stress is often the cause of many health problems, including some that seem unrelated. When your body or mind is stressed, it is not functioning as well as it should be, and things can start to go wrong. Through reflexology, you can relax your muscles and your entire body will follow suit.
Some people believe that reflexology can align your muscular and digestive systems to increase metabolism. As a result, your body will function more efficiently, you’ll have more energy, and you might even lose weight. Reflexology may also be able to stimulate nerve endings all around your body, increasing the effectiveness of your nervous system.
One of the more notable benefits is an increase in circulation throughout your body. With more oxygen getting to your body, your muscles and organs will work better, increasing your metabolism and giving you more energy. You’ll feel better and function better after each session.
A good time to go in for a reflexology appointment is when you have migraines or other aches and pains. Reflexology treats pain by reducing stress in your muscles, which relieves tension and makes you feel better. As a result, reflexology is used to combat not only physical pain, but psychological symptoms as well.
Foot Reflexology Could Help Cancer Treatments
There is some evidence to suggest that reflexology could actually lessen the negative side effects of chemotherapy. Going through chemotherapy can put abnormal stresses on a person’s body, and reflexology is all about reducing stress. Regular treatments can help patients sleep better, feel more relaxed, and even prevent nausea caused by chemotherapy. It is even possible that regular reflexology treatments could slow the spread of cancer within the body.
How Foot Reflexology Works
Imagine that your foot is a remote control to the rest of your body. There are specific points on your feet (and hands) that correspond to each part of your body, and the tensions and stresses in those body parts can be controlled and managed through your feet. Whether the benefits people have recorded from reflexology sessions are legitimate or simply a product of the placebo effect is debated in the medical community, but for many people it really works.
The History of Foot Reflexology
The benefits of foot reflexology are not a new discovery, either. People have been practicing reflexology since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Reflexology was being practiced in ancient Egypt and China as early as 4,000 B.C. There are many examples of the therapy throughout history, but it is unclear exactly where it began. Perhaps the most significant contributor to the practice was Eunice Ingham, who is known as the pioneer of modern reflexology. Her work is arguably the basis for all modern practice of reflexology.
Once you understand the basics of how reflexology works, you can actually perform it on yourself in a pinch. You may not be able to achieve the same benefits that a professional reflexologist can, but the good news is that if you do it wrong there’s very little risk of hurting yourself. After all, a foot rub never killed anyone.
If you want to try DIY reflexology for yourself, test out this easy technique to give yourself a mood lift: Massage your big toes on both feet, focusing on the widest part of the toe. Massage each big toe for a few minutes, and see how your mood noticeably improves. This works, because your big toes are connected to your pituitary gland and hypothalamus. The stimulation releases hormones in your brain the improve your mood.
Of course, you should see a trained reflexologist for the best treatment. If you still want to pursue DIY reflexology at home, consult a professional and learn some of the basic reflexology points that will help with your trouble areas, and then you can do them yourself. A trained professional can help you identify any stresses you’re having, and teach you how to target the right reflexology points.
Reflexology Could Be Right For You
The only way to know for sure if reflexology can help you is to try it. There is very little risk involved in trying it out, because reflexology therapy is unobtrusive, and doesn’t take much time. By talking to a professional and trying a session, you may find that it helps reduce your stress and pain immensely. Call a reflexologist and set up an appointment to see for yourself.
This article was republished with permission from fitnessrepublic.com.
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